Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State government has attributed the major causes of flooding in the state to blockage of drainages and the inability of the people to heed to early warning messages.
General Manager of the State Urban Development Board, (UDB), Dr. Abrahams Saint who disclosed this to newsmen in his office in Makurdi, the State capital has marked for demolition, over 500 illegal structures built by people on water channels and under high tension across the state.
Of the number, Gbilekaa said 300 structures would be demolished in Makurdi adding that already, 20 of such structures have been demolished even as he noted that the last demolition exercise carried out was in line with the earlier warning the board gave to defaulters.
Dr. Gbilekaa who lamented that 80 percent of the houses built in the town do not have the approval from the board recalled that on assumption of office, he realized that there were illegal structures that were listed for demolition.
“We investigated to know how true it was and we went as far as serving fresh notices to developers who defaulted. So, the illegal structures I received from handover that were marked for demolition across the state were 500 but the ones we have so far demolished are 20.
“The exercise is a follow-up of the earlier notices and warnings we gave to developers especially those who have violated development laws. The 500 structures are even small. Even if they were 1,000, it’s a small thing and we can pull them down in one day because the State is an eye sore with these structures.”
He said the board has continued to sensitize people of the state on the dangers caused by flood and the need for them to desist from building on water channels to avoid being displaced by flooding.